Nutritional Support for Obesity Related to Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is increasingly common, and it may be attributed to poor lifestyle choices. In general, children and adults who get too little sleep tend to weigh more than those who get enough sleep.

For example, in the Nurses’ Health Study, researchers followed roughly 60,000 women for 16 years, asking them about their weight, sleep habits, diet, and other aspects of their lifestyle. At the start of the study, all of the women were healthy, and none were obese; 16 years later, women who slept 5 hours or less per night had a 15 percent higher risk of becoming obese, compared to women who slept 7 hours per night; short sleepers also had 30 percent higher risk of gaining 30 pounds over the course of the study, compared to women who got 7 hours of sleep per night.

There are several possible ways that sleep deprivation could increase the chances of becoming obese. Sleep-deprived people may be too tired to exercise, decreasing the “calories burned” side of the weight-change equation, and lack of sleep also disrupts the balance of key hormones that control appetite, so sleep-deprived people may be hungrier than those who get enough rest each night.

Food to Eat

Foods to Avoid

  1. Tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan are precursors of melatonin through   the serotonin pathway, and have some efficacy in the treatment of insomnia.
  2. Rectifying poor iron status. Insomnia is a frequent problem in patients   with restless legs syndrome.
  3. Melatonin. Disturbances in circadian rhythm and melatonin production   are more common among both the elderly and shift workers, and evidence   suggests that this can be partly ameliorated by supplemental melatonin.
  4. Valerian. Valerian’s sedative and hypnotic effects probably result from   increases in the secretion of the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid   (GABA) and inhibition of its uptake.
  5. Green or leafy vegetables either boiled or steamed help in promoting   sleep.
  6. Lemons and mulberries have a calming effect on the mind.
  7. Vitamin B6 oriented food for a good sleep.
  8. Chia seeds
  9. Lettuce


  1.   Coffee and tea
  2.   Spicy foods
  3.   Cola
  4.   Alcohol
  5.   Refined Carbohydrate
  6.   Preservatives
  7.   Additives
  8.   Non Organic Foods




1. Patel SR, Hu FB. Short sleep duration and weight gain: a systematic review. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008; 16:643-53.

2. Patel SR, Malhotra A, White DP, Gottlieb DJ, Hu FB. Association between reduced sleep and weight gain in women. Am J Epidemiol.2006; 164:947-54.


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